The Dec. 17 Metro article “Settlement with Montgomery reprieves organic farm in Potomac” left out two critically important points.
First, Nick Maravell’s farm is not just any farm; it is a nationally recognized organic farm. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed Mr. Maravell to the National Organic Standards Board. This farm is a heritage farm, one of the few organic farms in Montgomery County and the only one to produce organic seed.
Other farmers buy these seeds to grow their organic crops, which allows us to have organic beef, poultry, milk and eggs. Mr. Maravell, whose farm is on land that was owned by the Montgomery County school system, also teaches other farmers how to farm sustainably and how to prevent erosion into our rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.
Second, if Mr. Maravell loses his farm, there will not be public land anywhere in Montgomery County that’s immune to a land grab. Mr. Maravell lost his lease after closed-door meetings were held by the Montgomery County school board, which has transferred the land to the county for the development of soccer fields.
The county says it supports its farmers, but in this affair, the school board and the administration have not only failed to support the most outstanding farm in the county, they have also failed to listen to their citizens, circumvented their own laws and misrepresented the wording of the master plan.
Elisabeth P. Waugaman, Potomac